Abu Dhabi plans to impose new fee on hotel guests

A new decree will levy a 4 per cent fee on hotel bills and a Dhs 15 room charge per night

Abu Dhabi growth “under pressure” as low oil prices hit spending – Moody's

Abu Dhabi is planning to impose a new fee on hotel guests in the emirate as it looks to boost dropping oil revenues.

The United Arab Emirates is mulling a new decree which will levy a 4 per cent municipality fee on hotel bills and a Dhs 15 charge per night per room, The National reported, citing Arabic daily Al Ittihad.

The report said the new fees will be collected by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and will form part of the municipality’s budget.

Currently, hotels in Abu Dhabi charge guests and customers a 6 per cent city tax and a 10 per cent service charge.

However, it is not yet clear whether the new fees would be applied to all customers or only guests.

Abu Dhabi welcomed 4.1 million guests in its hotels last year, up 18 per cent year-on-year. They stayed a total of 12.24 million nights.

The move by Abu Dhabi follows a similar “tourism dirham” introduced by Dubai in 2014. The charge varies between Dhs 7 and Dhs 20 per room, per night, depending on the hotel category and rating.

Read:
New Tourism Fee To Be Levied In Dubai From March 31

It is applied to guests staying in all kinds of holiday accommodation including hotels, hotel apartments, guesthouses and holiday homes.

The funds are used to support the international promotion and marketing of Dubai.

Soon after the fee was imposed, a senior Dubai Tourism official confirmed to Gulf Business that it did not garner any “negative feedback”.

Read: No negative feedback from tourism dirham: Dubai Tourism chief

The United Arab Emirates is looking to diversify its economy as low oil prices continue to hurt revenues.

The country has cut fuel subsidies and will soon start imposing value-added-tax in a bid to cut spending and boost revenues.